Daily 5 - Day 2

Day 1 went so well with Read to Self,  I was kind of scared of Day 2... 

Day 2- in a nutshell...

We reviewed Day 1- 
2 ways to read a book: Read the pictures or Read the words.  I really thought they would know this right off the bat but we were back to answers such as "read quietly, stay in one spot... etc."
I really wanted to say... "I'm not ready for that part yet, that will be the answer to my next question." But I didn't... we finally figured it out.

And then,
when I told them that there was one more way we could read our books, I saw some really surprised faces.  It was like, "what, really?  how can there be any more ways to read a book?"  Then I told them. We can also retell a story that we have heard before.  So, then I modeled retelling a book that I had read the day before.  The one that I read to both my class and my co-teacher's class as she attended to the child that dislocated his elbow at recess.  (Yes, we are sometimes health care workers too...).

Here is the poster that I downloaded from Lyndsey from A Year of Many Firsts.

Then we reviewed the I chart from yesterday... all five rules and we again talked about stamina.  Not one of them remembered that strange word... maybe after a week or so we will get it, or maybe not, we will see:)

Then, we (very quietly and carefully) watched each table get their browsing box and find a spot and begin reading our books right away.

***Side note:  Since we don't have many books in their browsing boxes yet, I took their end of year kindergarten guided reading level and put two books into each students box.  These books are two levels behind where they were instructionally at the end of kindergarten.  So, if a student was reading at a level F last spring, I gave them two level D books.  I wanted them to be mostly independent reading books for them.

We practiced reading today for 4 minutes and we made it.  Toward the end I had one student trying to ask another what one of the words in her book was.  I was happy that she was engaged in the reading but I had to reinforce how important it is that we are reading on our own during this time.  I made this comment without anyone knowing who I was talking about when we came back as a group to talk about how it went.

My plan is to try 6 minutes tomorrow.  The 2 Sisters of Daily 5 suggest that you start to add 2-3 minutes a day to build stamina.  I don't know if we will make it that long but that is my goal for tomorrow!

Wish me luck!

Daily 5 - Day 1

What? Really?  Day 6 is over already?  Only... 174 more to go:)  Ha!  This is a true statement but I am hopeful to have a great school year.  I spent A LOT of time this summer really trying to get my brain wrapped around how I wanted to run my classroom.  When I was teaching Title I, I didn't have to worry much about discipline and routines because I had small groups of students and it was only for a half hour a day.  It just wasn't as necessary as it is when you have a classroom, with the same kids, all... day... long...
I am so glad that I researched to find what might work for me in the classroom.  Our rules and routines are MOSTLY in place.  The kids are adapting to their classroom jobs better than I could have hoped for.  All is well!

Of course, rules and routines are important but more importantly is that I want to teach these kiddos to the best of my ability.  In particular,  I have really big plans (co-teaching with my neighbor teacher during Centers/Daily 5 and Guided Reading).  AND... writing workshop.  I love writing workshop and I hope to make my kiddos feel like real authors and feel confident in their writing this year.

So, here it is!  Day 1 for me of Daily 5/Center introduction.  I KNOW (in the back of my head somewhere), how important it is to teach very specifically about my expectations for the kids during this time.  I am going to take this slow and easy with lots and lots of practice to ensure that I will have a successful year! (Can you tell I am making sure that my brain knows this very well?)

Today I introduced Read to Self...

Here is what I did.

We gathered in our story pit to meet.
I (very enthusiastically) asked the kids?  "How do we all become better readers?"
They all thought they knew... I heard:  "sound out the words", "look at the pictures", and "read with a good voice".  (My heart did go pitter-pat just a little bit because at least they remembered some of the strategies they learned in kindergarten).
But no one really knew the answer... 
We have to READ- we have to practice a lot.  That is what I shared with them.  The looks on their faces were priceless.  Maybe an "AH-HA" moment???

So, our discussion began about how we read to ourselves. 
I asked them: "What are two ways we can read books?"
I think "Joe" answered the question telling me something about his cat...
We went on..
They knew we could read books by reading the words.  That was easy... Knowing that we can read books by looking at the pictures if the words are too hard, took a little prodding...

I demonstrated reading a book by only using the pictures.  I chose to read Russell the Sheep, but you could use any book with detailed pictures.

After I modeled how we read books in two different ways, we talked about the importance of knowing what to do during Read to Self time.  

I used the I chart the "The 2 Sisters" use in the Daily 5 book.  I have not created any of my own materials for Daily 5 because there are TONS on TpT.  (Just so you know, any Daily 5 products on TpT SHOULD be free because of copyright).  Here is a link to the I charts that I printed.  These were created by Sue McDonald.  Simple but effective:)

On the left, we brainstormed what Read to Self "looks like".  I'm not sure how it happened, but all of THEIR ideas ended up just the same as The 2 Sisters...  boy, I must have a super smart class...

So, we wrote...

1.  Read quietly.
2. Read the whole time.
3.  Stay in one spot.
4.  Get started right away.
5.  Work on stamina.

On the right, we wrote...
1.  Reading with other students.
2.  Working with groups.

Two students very carefully modeled this perfect behavior for us.  They quietly got their browsing boxes, found a spot on the floor, and began reading quietly right away.  And slowly, table by table, we all got to join in on the fun.  We practiced for the 3 minutes- The 2 Sisters suggest to start with 3 minutes at the very beginning.

They were so engaged, they didn't even know I was there!

 It was right at the 3 minute mark when "Joe" jumps up and says (very loudly)- "I'm done!"
So, we were all done.  The 2 Sisters suggest that you start with small amounts of time to build stamina.  The kids need to be practicing it correctly.  Once a student if off task, then it is time to stop and try again the next day.  
*Also note:  The 2 Sisters also say to make sure that you are not walking around the room telling them how great they are doing or helping them in way because that is exactly what you are NOT going to be doing when you are working with small groups.  They will get used to you commenting and then will need that security.  That is what they say- so that is what I am doing:) 

We came back to the story pit and went back through our I chart.  We did AWESOME- and tomorrow we can try 4 minutes!  I hope "Joe" can keep his eyes on his book for an extra minute:)

And so- this was our first day of the Daily 5.  It was a good day... I hope it continues!

Here are some other great Daily 5 resources that I have found so far (all free).

Daily 5 Task Cards, Bookmarks, and Station Cards

These are only a few- seriously!  If you are implementing Daily 5, you need to stop by TpT.

One more thing while you are here... I made a cute little sign to take pictures of the kids with at Open House.  You can download it for free and use anytime... first day??  first week??  Whenever you find time, right??

(I made signs for K-4:)


Rules and Routines

I have just realized that I do not know how all of you awesome bloggers post during the first week of school!
I am whooped!  The thing is- it's not because of the kids!  I have enjoyed every minute with the kids.  I hate to speak too soon- but my class (overall) has been great!  Now remember, it's been 10 years since I have taught in the regular classroom.  I am not used to collecting paperwork, box tops, and knowing where Johnny is going after school let alone all of the State requirements and new Common Core Standards...

I have been really wanting to post throughout the week but I have been coming home and working for another few hours.  I know I am preaching to the choir here- because we all do it!

So, here I am, on a Friday night (it's about 9:00pm) and I just finished my newsletter for next week, my behavior plan that needs to go home on Monday, and our 1st Grade Math Assessment for our SLO's (in Ohio).  

Anyway, I hope (maybe)  I can help some of you out there that haven't been back to school yet.  I have been establishing some rules throughout the week.  The kids have really been great with learning them.  I thought I would share some of the products that I have purchased to help me in my classroom.

First up:  Back to School for First Graders! by Lyndsey Kuster

This packet is AMAZING!  Lyndsey establishes classroom rules using a read aloud book.  The students learn about First Grade Friends in four different ways:

Responsible Ryan
Ready to Learn Robert
Respectful Rachel
Really Safe Rita

There are many activities to go along with learning these rules.  Lyndsey also has some activities that go along with David Goes to School book by David Shannon that help the students learn good/bad choices.

I am also incorporating Hand Signals in my classroom this year.  Funny thing is, I hadn't even introduced them yet and students were using them (because I already had them on the wall).  I am loving it!  This is the packet that I purchased on TpT.

(Sorry, this picture is really blurry... I couldn't get a clear one.)

Ok... I am going to bed!  I have a ton of things that I would love to share with everyone.  I will try to find the time:)


Open House Ideas!

Hi everyone!  I am getting ready for Open House.  We do ours two days before school starts.  It's nice because the students can bring their supplies before the first day of school:)

I wrote a post about some "gift bags" and Welcome Poem that I am using.  I do not know who originally created the poem or I would give them credit (so if you know, just send me a message).  I just made different backgrounds to go with it.  Here is a picture:)  This one has my zebra background.  I made four other backgrounds with it also.

You can go and check out my post and pick up this FREEBIE over at Teaching Blog Round Up.

Also, I have a little secret to share- I ordered some magnets through Vista Print that has my contact information on it.  I am going to give these to the parents at Open House so they can have my contact information readily available.  Here's the secret- I bought a set for my teaching partner too as a back to school gift... shhh... don't tell her:)  She is on vacation right now so I am hoping she doesn't see this post!

One other thing that I am going to do is have a piece of letterhead on each students desk.  The parents write their child a short letter and put it into their mailbox so they have some mail on the first day of school!


Organizing Books!

So, this is how my summer has gone...

work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school,
work at school.... 

With switching positions and classrooms, I feel like I have been to school most of the summer.  In fact, one of the secretaries works through July and I told her she was my new BFF since we were the only ones in the building during the month of July!  

Thank goodness for my two vacations!  We have never taken two vacations in one year but we really didn't have much choice this year.  We just got back from the Bahamas on a family reunion vacation.  There were 25 of us and we took a cruise over and then spent 4 nights on the island and then a cruise back.  It was a blast!  This was our 6th vacation reunion in the last 10 years.  I love it because I get to see many families members that live far away from me.  Especially my grandparents.  Here they are with their root beer floats.  Grandma is 85 and Grandpa is 87.

We had to find a ride from Ft. Lauderdale to West Palm Beach and this is what my mom found for us to ride in!  Of course I LOVE it- it matches my room! Zebra Hummer (and it was cheaper than getting a taxi!)

Anyway, in the process of setting up my new room, I knew I needed to work on a classroom library.  I have done the little sticky dots in the past so the kids know where to put the book away and would end up not being able to find the right colors or enough colors... so I needed something different.

I decided to make some book labels!  I did some authors/themes (20 of them) and then I made some that are also editable (an additional 20).  Basically, I have the label that goes on the book basket.  Each label has a different color/design so the students can easily identify where the book goes.  They can also look at the title of the basket to find where it belongs.

I still have a few things to do but it is MOSTLY ready:)

I thought I would make these available to others in my TpT Store-  you can check out what labels are not editable in my product description (there are 20) and then there are also 20 editable labels.  You have to have Power Point if you decide to purchase so that you can edit them:)  The labels that go onto the baskets I just printed on card stock.  The book labels have to be 1" by 2 5/8".

Oh yeah, I also just published a post over at Teaching Blog Round Up and I have a FREEBIE for Open House Night!  You don't want to miss it!

I should really be at school, and not blogging:)  BYE BYE!!

Back to School Freebies

Charity over at Classroom Freebies has put together a one stop spot to pick up some great back to school FREEBIES!  Come on over and check it out!

Classroom freebies